The pandemic has seen a fall in demand for ‘session’ cider, but artisanal tipples from the UK’s leading cider county are going strong – with many companies offering tours
You never forget your first time. Mine was on a Friday night, on a bench in the middle of Dore village in Sheffield. Liz, who looked considerably older than 13, had conned the Co-op owner into dispensing an electric-blue bottle of cider, and three of us swigged from the neck in a manner that would now shock most epidemiologists. It’s the kind of story that makes artisan cider makers wince. Teenage dabblings often taint the taste buds of those who might otherwise have grown to embrace cider as they do wine, dismissing it without a second sip.
Ignoring the smirks, I developed a fondness for cider through my 20s, and during lockdown discovered a cider and perry market brimming with elegant craft varieties. So pleased was I with my online orders that, on a family trip to Herefordshire, I decided to meet the makers.